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MP3 Celius Dougherty - Serenader

Rising stars make spellbinging performances of an eminent American composer''s art songs, folk duets and duo-piano sonata of sea chanties.

23 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Traditional, FOLK: Traditional Folk

American composer, accompanist and duo-pianist, Celius Dougherty (1902-86) was born into a family that his choirmaster / mother organized into a 7 piece band. His first public performance, at age ten, was as accompanist of a song recital by his mother. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he studied piano and composition at Juilliard and accompanied Metropolitan Opera singers, including Alexander Kipnis, Eva Gauthier, Povla Frijsch, Edward Johnson, Igor Gorin and Grete Stueckhold..

In 1939 Dougherty formed a two-piano team with Vincenz Ruzicka, appearing in every state of the union and in Vienna with the Vienna Symphony in 1955. The duo was noted for giving world premieres of important new works for two pianos: Hindemith''s Sonata for Two Pianos, Stravinsky''s Sonata for Two Pianos, Berg''s Suite from Lulu, Schoenberg''s Variations on a Recitative. Some of these were works for orchestra, which he arranged for two pianos. Another was a sonata, which he arranged from nautical themes, Music from Seas and Ships, dedicated to his brother Ralph, who went down with the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

Dougherty''s catalogue of compositions includes a one-act opera for children, Many Moons, based on a story by James Thurber, as well as a piano concerto, a string quartet, and sonatas for violin, piano, and piano duo. But he is best remembered for 200 gracious and witty songs. His early songs were settings of English and American poets: Walt Whitman, E.E. Cummings, Amy Lowell, Robert Frost and Siegfried Sassoon. Later songs derived from essays by children, Chinese poetry, the dictionary, newspapers, spirituals and folk songs.

In 2004 G. Schirmer, Inc. published a volume with 30 art songs and another volume with 18 folk arrangements. "Serenader" features rivetting 2002-03 performances of 12 art songs, 4 folk arrangements, 4 folk duets and a duo-piano sonata of sea chanties....

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